Gregr, the morning show host on 107.7 KNDD (Entercom) in Seattle, has been podcasting since 2007. Over his past eight years at The End, he has launched a number of podcasts, and has learned a lot of important lessons along the way.
Gregr is a unique personality who has built a loyal following in a market with its own distinct vibe, on a station famous for the music it plays. He has used podcasting as a way to expand his brand – and his persona. And along the way, he's become a better broadcaster.
Next week, he'll be joining us onstage as part of our Broadcasters Meet Podcasters track at the Podcast Movement conference in Anaheim. Sometimes, personalities – especially on music stations – wonder what's in it for them when it comes to podcasting. Gregr answers that question in today's post. As part of our “Guest List” series, he talks about how podcasting has made him a better broadcaster. –Seth
Between aggressive puffs from a hurried cigarette (they were still on carts), Swami Rob — now a staple of Albuquerque radio at 94 Rock — gave me some advice that has stuck with me even two decades after I first heard it:
“Shut up and your PD will love you.”
I’ve been on many stations since that time, all music formats, and his advice still rings true. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve learned how to package compelling information into small spaces with word economy and colorful language with a fair amount of success.
The advice Rob gave me sort of also put me in a box – it killed, and I advanced, but I never made the mistakes necessary to become good at long form communication. I’m not a limit pusher, nor a prankster, I was just reliably consistent and weird enough to be interesting but without any further substance.
Thank the wookiee for podcasting.
Though I created, produced and co-hosted a Formula 1 podcast, The Rampage Racing Report, in 2007-ish, I didn’t really take to it until a few years into my time at KNDD. Since then I’ve created, produced, and (co-)hosted four different podcasts ranging from my tech and science-based podcast, Nerd Talk, to a Seattle soccer-centric weekly, Full 90: Extra Time.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about how to do things well, and a lot more about how to do them terribly. But here are 5 ways podcasting has buffed up my radio career.
I was terrible — effing awful at interviewing. “We just need a sound byte” is fine in theory, but no one ever says anything interesting until they are loosened up and comfortable. “Tour is great, I love the tacos in Tucson” fart noise. Of all the ways to learn how to interview a variety of people, I can’t imagine an easier way to get the reps in. Check out So, You’re In Seattle to see what I mean.
2. Goofing Off
Twice a week, my friend (and KNDD DJ) Jon Manley and I sit down for Our Dumb Podcast. It’s the dumbest, lowest-effort adventure that brings me a tremendous amount of joy. Like I said, I’ve never been part of a group show, and this quickly taught me what my range of abilities are — usually as the straight man, and less the color (Manley).
For the last four-ish years, Our Dumb Podcast treated the Dummies (listeners of ODP) to an hour of pod every week. Building an audience relies on delivering a consistent product. This part makes me the most bummed because in a recent move to new studios, all of my podcasts have suffered from this problem. I perhaps didn’t appreciate the importance of building an audience until the consistency wasn’t there. Our new studio should be done in a week. 🙂
4. Content Distribution
Nerd Talk, a daily feature, is one of the two things people recognize most about my old-school style music morning show. It’s a produced 90-ish second segment and it gets posted online every weekday. When someone doesn’t get a chance to listen, it’s super easy to fire them a link to hear today’s segment (or get caught up on the last week).
Though So, You’re In Seattle was designed to buff up my interviewing skills by talking to people who were literally in Seattle, it at some point slowed down to being a feature I could use for digital content. No longer am I filling a spot every week with someone from/visiting our community. Instead, I’m using it as a content creation tool.
Sometimes, it was hard for me to justify why I would ever want to talk to someone. The podcast was the excuse. Sometimes that person was my coworker and I never knew they chose the radio moniker “Tailor” because that’s what their parents did for a living! The podcast opened doors to me that I otherwise may have been too timid to kick in myself.
The one thing that is the worst about podcast: I HATE booking guests. It makes me anxious, it requires a ton of focus to execute correctly, and when people flake, I take it super personally. So if anybody has any ideas of how to be better at that (or wants to bankroll someone to book for me), I’m all ears.
On Thursday, August 24th, Jacobs Media will host a full day of sessions, panels, and keynotes designed for radio broadcasters at the Podcast Movement conference. Gregr will be a panelist on our 11am session, “Radio's Top Podcaster's Share Their Secrets” joining WLNK's Sheri Lynch, Mike Carruthers, and Matt Cundill. We hope you can join us in Anaheim for the conference.
More Guest Lists
- Steve Goldstein: 6 Ways Podcasts Are Different Than Radio
- Valerie Geller: 5 Things Radio Program Directors Should Start Doing (if you’re not already…)
- Rich Homberg: The 5 Things Today’s Radio Personalities Can Learn from J.P. McCarthy
- Blubrry’s Todd Cochrane: 5 Things You Should Know About Podcast Measurement
- James Cridland: 5 Countries You Should Look At For Radio Ideas
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